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The Cost of Putting 'Us' over 'Them'

Nick Englehart

Posted on February 18, 2020 22:17

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Policy choice has life-and-death consequences. It's easy to get swept up in the promise of outcomes forgetting the cost of its implementation.

It’s easy to get wrapped up in the weeds of politics. Sometimes we forget that policy and rhetoric of administrations have real-world consequences -- that range in severity from wait times at airports to the deaths of innocent persons. The United States has a long history of violent xenophobia and nationalism that have and continue to shape many lives.

These problems arise when our empathy is at its lowest. When times are so hard we can’t look past ourselves. Slavery in this country was once a question about class. Bacon's Rebellion pitted wealthy settlers against their indentured white servants and captured African slaves. The American aristocracy threatened by class unity re-framed slavery to harden racial resentment. Blaming the “other” for Colonial problems and raising the indentured’s status in name only. It worked and continues to.

The same tactics can be seen throughout our history. Each new immigrant class being defined by the same demeaning characteristics, worse than those who had the natural sense to be born here.

In 1939, the United States turned away a boat of more than 900 Jewish escapees attempting to flee the tyranny and genocide of Nazi Germany. It cited immigration quotas. The ship returned to its place of port and at least 200 would be killed in the Holocaust.

In 1951, the United Nations established a principle that forbids the sending of immigrants to countries where they are likely to be killed. The United States still struggles immensely. There are guidelines for legal asylum-seeking individuals, but those too are often ignored.

We send women back to countries where domestic abusers lay in wait to kill them. We send men to countries where they never lived because they were born at the wrong time and under the wrong circumstances. We let people die in cages surrounded by people who could help them because these people tried to pull themselves up by their bootstraps. We pass sweeping legislation that instructs the public conscience in situations that would be handled better individually.

All the while those who echo the call for extreme vetting and an immigrant-free America find themselves suffering the same fates. Finding their fields dry, their savings diminished, their way of life lost at the hands of those who promise a stronger economy, only to discover the economy was never built for them.

Policy affects more than those who vote for it, more than those who create it, more than right now, and more than just the United States. Our choices emanate across the span of time and throughout the lives of real people. The vote you cast is not for ideology but for action, the effect of which can be a lifeline or a sentence on real people. Politics can seem inhumane, but we cannot forget it is the most human practice of all.

Nick Englehart

Posted on February 18, 2020 22:17

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Source: FOX News
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The White House on Wednesday slammed Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., for calling White House adviser Stephen Miller a white nationalist,...

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